When most rural businesses talk about social media, they tend to focus in on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But there are more out there, and two that have the potential to pack a serious punch are Pinterest and Snapchat.

Pinterest

Pinterest has been seen for years as a place to pin your interior design and personal styling ideas, but it’s more than that. Yes, you can create ‘boards’ about whatever you like, made using your own images and graphics or pinned from receptive sites. It’s a great tool for this kind of thing, but for business it has applications too.


See also: A beginners guide to Instagram


I’ve been hearing more and more about Pinterest and its ability to drive traffic to your site, because it can actually be viewed as a type of search engine. And, when you view it like that, Pinterest becomes a lot more interesting.

Hashtags are a fairly new addition to Pinterest, but the move has made all my content much more discoverable. More than this, the functionality of the site allowed me to promote content from my other platforms (I use it for my website blogs and Instagram the most), to help me be more visible on other platforms, and it’s worked. I’ve seen more traffic coming to my site than before and when I look at the acquisition information in Google Analytics, Pinterest is right up there on the social media graph.


See also: A quick guide to Youtube


Pinterest facts (Hootsuite March 2018)

  • 200 million monthly active users
  • Predominantly female audience
  • There are more than 100 billion pins on Pinterest

Another interesting thing about Pinterest is that, until recently, your follower number was pride of place on your profile. It isn’t now – it’s all about engagement and the views your content has. Which is the point. We see all too often huge Instagram accounts with massive follower numbers but no engagement and that’s not that useful to anyone.

Pinterest is a big platform with a lot of potential for businesses. I speak to so many people who tell me they use Pinterest for personal things but not business. Embrace your Pinterest passion and start sharing your content on there. You might be surprised. I was.


See also: Which social media platforms should your business be on?


Snapchat

Snapchat is seen as a social media platform connected to younger people, and it’s hardly surprising. A lot of Snapchat’s users are in the younger age bracket, with 77% of UK Snapchat users being under 25 (according to brandwatch). But does this mean if you’re not in this bracket you should give it a miss? No, it really doesn’t.

If your customers or your target customers are on Snapchat, you need to be giving it some serious consideration. Allowing people to find out about you and what you do via Snaps can be hugely powerful, and the fact you’re on the platform where they chose to be makes it so much more interesting.

It used to be more of a personal communication social media network in that you’d share your Snaps with your friends in a private way. But it’s moved on since then.

Now, in addition to sending messages to individual friends, you can also see and enjoy other Snaps from brands as well as people. These often contain a ‘Swipe Up’ function that takes you to their website too.

You might be reading the above and think it sounds familiar. Yes… it sounds quite similar to Instagram Stories. There are differences but a lot of the functionality, from my research and use at least, is similar. This isn’t to say don’t use Snapchat, absolutely not. I would urge you to try it if you think your target market ‘hang out’ there and if you think it could benefit your business. If that’s the case – go for it.

These two platforms don’t boast the same huge numbers as the likes of Facebook and Instagram but that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful – far from it. If your audience is there, you should be there too.